Monday, December 8, 2014

Final Post - New Direction

I have taken a new direction for my online presence at the following site: Although it has been fun using this 'Spreadsing Manure' Blogger site to share what I have learned about small farming practices, I won't be doing much of that moving forward. Most of the learning activities that I'll be doing in the future is related to technology for work, and a select number of leisure pursuits for the life part of the work/life balance. As I capture thoughts and learned material in online content, I'll be doing so in the above-referenced WordPress site that provides me with a little more flexibility for how I want to capture and subsequently display the information. Jeff Puuri 12/8/2014

Monday, September 2, 2013

Starting Fresh

In just 3 days we will celebrate the start of a New Year with Rosh Hashana and the 1st of Tishrei, 5774. In the last few weeks and months I have been yearning to rekindle the desire to spend more time learning about the Hebrew roots of my faith, and what better way to start than through a New year's resolution to do so. This afternoon I came across a Torah Study that was most interesting and I wanted to save for future reference but was wondering where would be a 'safe place' that I could log this reference so it wouldn't lost in the clutter pile of digital safe places that I have setup over the years. Maybe someplace like a digital diary or journal would be nice so that as additional thoughts came out during the next year I could refer back chronologically. Plus writing things down tend to help things stick in the brain a little better. How about my blog? It is chronological and is so out of date I can't imagine anyone reads it anymore, so it is probably like a private diary, but even if someone does decide to read what I've written, its not like a secret or anything, and even better it promotes God and allows me to talk about my faith to the world. or at least whoever is listening. So...the interesting article I read today came through my weekly e-mail from and talks about why the common English words of repentence, prayer, and charity that are typically promoted as where we should focus ourselves during the ten days of Teshuvah are not the best translations from the Hebrew words teshuvah, tefillah and tzedakah. Rather the article sums up these words as: By returning to one's innermost self (teshuvah), by attaching oneself to G-d (tefillah) and by distributing one's possessions with righteousness (tzedakah), one turns the promise of Rosh Hashanah into the abundant fulfillment of Yom Kippur: A year of sweetness and plenty. Here is a link to the article itself. Torah Studies:The Ten Days of Teshuvah

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spreading Manure in Town

Thanks to a couple good friends who encouraged me to update this blog space. Since the last blog update over a year ago (where does the time go?), much has happened. Most importantly, we don't live on the farm anymore that I had been writing about. We are back in suburbia again so that our son could attend the public school system. But that doesn't mean we can't still spread manure, both literally and figuratively. You might be able to take the girl out of the country, but can't take the country out of the girl. This spring we brought the tiller down to the backyard of our suburban home and created three raised beds so that my wife could bring her gardening touch to town. The raised bed configuration that worked so well up on the farm was re-created, but on a smaller scale, in our backyard. Instead of composted mule manure to raise the beds and enrich the soil, we opted for 60 bags of composted manure from Lowe's. 60 bags is still 1.2 tons, and that equates to a third of a ton of soil enrichment per bed. That is also a lot of lifting from the pallet to the garden. Here are some pictures that I took during the bed construction.

Back in the fall, I had a done a rough till to layout two beds, but today I wanted to raise those two as well as till and raise a third bed. Here are some of the tools that I used. One BCS walk behind tractor using the rototiller attachment, One Wheelbarrow, a shovel, a tire pump to pump up the wheelbarrow tire, and a pallet of manure.

Raising beds is a fairly simple process, it just takes a little work. The idea is to dig a trench in your bed, fill it with soil enrichment such as manure, and then dig the next trench right next to the last one and cover up the manure in the previous trench. Because more matter is being added to the soil, it only has one way to go and that is up. Here I have worked my way down the bed from the left end and have dug my next trench:

Then I place a bag of manure in the trench I just dug:

Rip open the bag with a sharp utility knife to expose the rich contents:

Carefully dump the bags contents into the trench and spread evenly along the bottom:

Dig the next trench right next to the one in which I just put the manure and use the dirt that I am digging up to fill the previous trench. Each trench is about a foot wide and each bed is about 5 feet wide, so each trench is 1 by 5 feet. The beds are about 20 feet long so about 60 trenches were dug in total.

This profile picture of the raised bed tries to show how much we were able to raise the bed from ground level by using this trench method.

Shiloh enjoyed watching the show while performing the noble task of guarding the pallet from manure looters.

Here is a shot looking down from deck showing the final product. I will till them again in early May to really mix up the composted manure with the existing soil. That final till will also make for finer soil particles in preparation for planting.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sign of Spring

Just four days ago we saw over nine inches of snowfall. The next two mornings following that we exprienced low temperatures in the single digits. However by today the high is forecast to be in the sixties, and we can expect seventies by tomorrow. Of course these warm temperatures are causing the snow accumulation from earlier in the week to melt away pretty quick. As one of snowbanks near the house retreated it revealed a sign of spring that had been lurking underneath.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Here is an interesting contrast. 'Sunrise on the Farm' from July and then this morning. I found the difference in sun angle to be quite noticeable.

Yesterday's post was created about 2 hours into the snowstorm. It kept snowing until sometime into the wee hours of this morning. By last evening the wind picked up and it is still blowing pretty good. Therefore we had quite a bit of drifting so it is a little difficult to tell just how much snow we received. I found a spot that seemed pretty sheltered and measured 9.5 inches. That is about what the final forecasts for our area thought we might get, so that is probably a pretty close estimate.

In some places near the house and cars, the drifts piled up to a foot and a half or more.

Below are several more pictures from this morning.

Looking North up the highway this morning

Looking South

Even when there is just a dusting of snow, the chickens don't like to walk in it. So this morning, they were really not interested in coming out. Today is the first time in my life that I have had to shovel out a path in the snow for chickens before I shoveled my own sidewalk. I shoveled out a path for them to get from their roost house to the nest house and from the roost house to the feeder stand. I think once they get hungry enough, they will venture out.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow on the Farm

It is hard to believe my last post was all the way back in July. The time sure has flown by since then. In that last post I wrote about unusual weather that we were experiencing that day. Today's post will also describe some unusual weather, at least for this particular winter.

Snow is not an unusual occurence in Southwest Virginia during the winter, but it has been this year. So far this winter we have had very few measurable snowfalls, and I don't think any have amounted to more than an inch. Most have been dustings of snow, sleet, or the occasional bout of freezing rain.

So here it is March 1st, the first day of meteorological Spring, and we are finally receiving our first good snow for the season. It started snowing about 1:30 this afternoon and is projected to keep snowing until tomorrow morning. Here are a few pictures from the first couple hours of this event.

We live right along a major US Highway and the state transportation department does a very good job of keeping it maintained in wintry conditions. However today's snowfall was accumulating so rapidly that the plows were having a difficult time keeping pace. Here is a shot looking north up the highway about 15 minutes after the plow had come through.

Looking south

The snow is accumulating on the cars, which were clear two hours ago.

The traffic is crawling by right now

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sunrise over the Farm

When I went out this morning to take care of animals, it was 52 degrees which is a real treat for the middle of July. Then I was treated to a postcard sunrise scene with the sunlight diffusing through the morning fog broken only by the symmetrical shadows cast by the trees. I don't know that the camera can quite capture the imagery impressed upon my senses, but it is not too far off. Thanks be to God for His amazing creation and continual reminders of who is really in control.